Lauren Winstone’s recent hand-thrown ceramics, showing for the first time in Auckland at Two Rooms, is the daring work of a talented young artist who is exploring the enduring potential and possibilities of a material that is yielding new points of view. Interested in the way variations of design can alter our understanding of what a pot is for, Winstone describes how “our expectations of an object are often based on what we have encountered in similar objects before.”
She continues her ongoing investigation into, and re-reading of, the ceramic object in this exhibition. Collectively titled Pieces, the show presents a body of work from the ‘Holding Holes’ exhibition at the Dowse in 2012 alongside new works that extend the series. Taking the three basic elements of a pot – a base, a rim, and a handle – Winstone sets about reconfiguring these forms through sculptural means. Cutting back and drawing out, thickening and thinning, stacking and upturning. The resulting works evidence the push and pull between a base form and it‘s derived parts. She demonstrates a high level of control of the medium as she challenges the conventions, playing with scale, density, proportions and surface as she teases out the space between rim and handle.
Winstone is inspired by mid-century modernist ceramics, in particular in some of the more eccentric practices that emerged at the tail end of the modernist period. She speaks of the ‘idiosyncratic forms with curious slippages’ of English artist Ruth Duckworth, German Potters Karl and Ursula Scheid and New Zealand potter Nola Barron.
Lauren Winstone is a former Director of Ramp Gallery, Hamilton, and member of the Rm Gallery collective, Auckland. In 2010 she was awarded a MFA (Hons) from the Elam School of Art, University of Auckland. Recent exhibitions include: Holding Holes, a solo show at The Dowse Art Museum (2012); Dugout, a group exhibition at Hopkinson Mossman, Auckland (2012); Collected Fictions, Waikato Museum (group, 2011); Humming on a Windless Slope, a solo window project for Objectspace, Auckland (2010); and the online project Responses to New Zealand Potter magazine (with Nick Spratt) for Alterations (2011).
Winstone received a 2010 Creative New Zealand grant to attend the Guldagergaard Ceramics Residency in Denmark, and in 2007 she undertook an artist residency at the Seoksu Art Project, Anyang City, Korea. Winstone lives and works in Auckland.